Employee Spotlight: Steve York

Employee Spotlight

Name: Steve York
Position: Salesman 

What does Andy Griffith’s George Lindsey, the Three Stooges’ Joe Besser, and The Grapes of Wrath’s John Carradine have in common? All have shaken the hand of Steve York, former actor with a passion for selling cars.
Growing up in northern Virginia, York moved into the local fire department at the age of 16, coupling going to school during the day with firefighting at night to pay for his room and board. His hard work ethic stayed with him as he pursued fire science in college, but as his studies found himself also attending acting classes, he realized he had a dream to work in western movies.
“I was a good horseman, and I wanted to recreate that old-timey feel,” York remembered. So in the late 70s, York found himself pursuing his dream in California, hob-knobbing with celebrities and trying to break into the industry. He continued his studies at Burbank Studios and won roles in various commercials, but he said, “It wasn’t sustainable. I came from a poor family, and I wanted so bad to make them proud of me, and knew I had to try that. But I was told that I had to want that life more than anything in the world, and I didn’t. If I had tried harder, I would have made it. But I had a job and had to make a living, and I couldn’t jeopardize that.”
York tried to juggle his time paying the rent with jobs first with Oldsmobile, then Mazda and finally Mercedes, but by the time the big earthquake of ‘94 struck, it was the final push York needed to leave the world of acting behind and pursue his knack for selling luxury vehicles.
“Customers on a test drive asked me why I was wasting my time selling Mazdas,” York said. “I’ve always thought about first impressions and was clean cut and had a good persona.” When he left his position as the F&I manager at Mercedes, he came back to the southeast and began to work in Tennessee at a BMW dealership where he began the first of his 16 years with the franchise. He moved to Huntsville in 2007 to take advantage of the bigger market.
While York may have left the world of film behind, he said that he continues to use some acting techniques to be able to relate to his customers. “Every time you meet a new couple, you have to make them feel comfortable, and it involves a little bit of acting. I wanted to be different and decided I can make a difference.” For York, it’s about helping the customer believe in the product he believes in.
“What’s really important to me is that I want to be able to look my customer in the eye if I run into them in a store or restaurant and know that I gave them my best and really care about them. I want them to know that I’m not only going to be there for them now, but in the future too.”
Categories: People